Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Portsmouth 3-1 Sunderland

John Utaka

Sunderland travel to Fratton Park with hopes of ensuring their safety in the Premiership.Portsmouth on the other hand are safe courtesy of the results at the bottom of the table on Saturday which saw Hull draw with Middlesbrough and climb out of the drop zone while Newcastle took their spot with a home loss to Fulham.

Sunderland are on 16th place,Hull on 17th and Newcastle on 18th as the game took off.They need a win to be secure unless their future would hang in the balance in the final game of the season where Hull or Newcastle could pip the Black Cats and send them to the Championship.

The first chance of the game came in the 3rd minute through a game of head tennis where Portsmouth's Peter Crouch's header struck the post and rolled out.Hard to understand how that didn't find the back of the net.

Sunderland's first decent chance came via a great link up play between Jones and Richardson,where the latter could not keep his shot on target.However,in his defense he was put off by a sliding challenge by Sol Campbell.

Now it was the turn of Sunderland's turn to hit the post.Cross by Steve Malbranque towards Kenwyn Jones, who rises the highest only to beat the keeper but unable to beat the side post in the 41st minute.

At half time,both the teams have had a chance apiece and have hit the woodwork on both those occasions. More chances expected in the next half. Portsmouth 0-0 Sunderland at HT.

A fabulous run by Davenport from inside his half and then a great cross into the path over Sol Campbell and a simple tap in by Kenwyn Jones earned Sunderland the lead in the 59th minute. Portsmouth 0-1 Sunderland.

Portsmouth equalised straight ahead in the very next minute through Utaka.Great strength inside the box to hold off a Sunderland defender and then to blast the ball home. Portsmouth 1-1 Sunderland.(Wasn't there a whistle before he scored?)

Portsmouth took the lead in the 68th minute after a huge blunder from Anton Ferdinand put Utaka 1 on 1 with the keeper to beat.An aerial ball towards the Sunderland goal isn't deal with by Ferdinand as Bardsley slides in to prevent the ball from going in but couldn't do so.Own goal to Bardsley. Portsmouth 2-1 Sunderland.

A sweet left footed strike from a few yards out by Kenwyn Jones could have brought the game to a balance but Begovic gathers it cleanly.

Sunderland enjoyed two glorious chances in the 84th and 86th minute.First chance came to Djibrel Cisse whose shot went agonisingly wide.The latter fell to an unmarked Jones who just had to head the ball from eight yards in the back of the net.But his tame header went straight into the hands of Begovic.

Portsmouth made the Black Cats pay for their missed chances through an 87th minute strike from Traore in the back of the net.A low left footed strike beat the keeper and saw the right corner of the net. Portsmouth 3-1 Sunderland.

Portsmouth played out the remaining few minutes as Sunderland would be blamed for their missed chances and mistakes in the back.

Sunderland would need a win to be safe when they play Chelsea on the last day of the season at home.If they fail to do so,they would be dependent on the results of other relegation battlers,Middlesbrough,Newcastle United and Hull City.

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